The News of the World will install a paywall next month, the Guardian reported. The paper will charge online viewers £1 for a day's access and £1.99 for a four-week subscription. News of the World plans to launch a paid iPad app in the near future, which will charge a separate fee of £1.19 per week. "News International is leading the industry by delivering on its commitment to develop new ways of making the business of news an economically exciting proposition," says Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International.
News of the World is the third publication of News International to go behind a paywall. The Times and the Sunday Times started charging readers back in July, and responses to the paywall have been mixed. Most professionals in the industry admit there is a critical need to create revenue through charging for content. Yet the difficulty is in changing the current free trend, as readers feel resentful in paying for articles they once accessed easily on the web. About a month after the Times went behind a paywall it lost roughly 84% of its readers. While the process is painful for newspapers, most believe the paywall is a risk that needs to be taken.
Does the announcement that News of the World is following its fellow News International publications down the paywall route mean that the payment has been successful at the Times? Readership trends haven't been favorable to paying for content, with 81% of UK users claiming they would rather go elsewhere than pay for online news. Yet as News International puts UK's most popular Sunday paper behind a paywall, it is clear they aren't shying away from changing trends. "This is a very significant moment in the history of the News of the World," says editor Colin Myler. "Our new digital sites and apps will showcase our agenda-setting stories, celebrity exclusives and world-class investigative journalism, plus our unrivaled sports coverage, to give our audience unbeatable value."
Sources: The Guardian